Posts Tagged ‘caribbean

27
Nov
09

Shut Yuh Mout’, Go Away…

…”Mama, look ah boo boo dey.”

Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole perform  a classic calypso “Mama Look A Boo Boo”, which was written in 1956 by Lord Melody (Fitzroy Alexander).

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was also able to find the same song done on the steelpan… It was performed by a University student from California named Ziba Zehdar, as part of her university coursework or something.

Ziba Zehdar

Taken from Ziba's Vimeo profile...

What made me smile was that she’s so good, that the MC introducing her actually has to announce to the audience that – contrary to the thoughts and questions of many – that  he “didn’t hire her to play the steelpan”, and that she was a matriculated student at the school!

I was just in the mood for some old school kaiso.  I hope you do enjoy!  It always makes me happy and proud to see a facet of my culture being appreciated by other inhabitants of the big blue marble! 😀

Peace and Rice,

Boboleechron

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21
Apr
09

This Bobolee Is Getting A Serious Beating, Boy!

Yesterday morning, the hit counter on my blog stood at 25,000 hits.  I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least!  At this sentence, the count stands at 25,106 unique hits.

boboleepicture

A Good Friday Bobolee in Trinidad.

[Guanaguanare: The Laughing Gull]

This is a major milestone for me, and for my blog.  Actually, this is my 2nd attempt at blogging.  I used to have a MSN Spaces page at one point in time (http://spaces.msn.com/bluesoapbox was the URL) which I discontinued as I didn’t feel too comfortable sharing my inner thoughts and feelings with the whole wide world at the time.  What got me started again was the 2008 US Election campaign.  I was really appalled some of the things that were being said (and done) during the campaign, and at the same time, I was really captivated by Barack Obama.

A few friends and I were discussing the campaign issues online and one posted a Slate picture slideshow entitled “The Soiling of Old Glory”.   Those pictures invoked memories of a trip I’d made to a Southern US state in the 1990’s.  Those memories helped me write “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, a recollection of the day I met Jim Crow for the first time.  That’s the most widely read and referenced post on this blog to date, with close to 1300 views to date.

I’m really fortunate to have made a few acquaintances thru this second blogging stint; acquaintances I hope turn into friendships as time goes by.  My blog stats tell me that my blog posts have been read from as far west as Alaska to as far east as China.  That really… I don’t know… has me in awe?  I really don’t know how else to describe it… how that makes me feel.

My blog will be a year old on May 24th.  With any luck (and time) I’ll share some more facts and figures then.  In these eleven months (approx), I also started Bobolee Pix, a space for me to share a few of my pictures.  I’ve been stymied with my photography efforts though: someone sniped my camera last month and I haven’t gotten myself a replacement as yet! 😕  Really a shame… I loved taking photos, and my camera and I had just gotten used to each other’s quirks.  I hope the new owner likes it as much as I did! 😕

I’m not a learned scholar, an author, a writer, or a journalist.  Just a simple dude with an opinion (and a way with words, apparently).  I have to warn you, I’m not always able to post as I like due to my real-world commitments!  I wish I could do nothing else but share my thoughts and observations with you each and everyday… and I probably could, but I’ll have to leave my currently well-paying 9-5!  At least, now with my Twitter feed,  we can still share and communicate thoughts on a more impromptu and frequent basis.

Thanks a lot for visiting, thanks a lot for linking, thanks a lot for critiquing, and thanks a lot for sharing!

thank-you

Peace and Rice,

jw

12
Mar
09

Trinidad Carnival 2009: Tuesday Night Mas

The thing about getting up late in the morning on Carnival day is that you miss the opportunity to get pictures in “good light”.  With the sunlight being the brightest thing for miles, not only will you save batteries by not having to use a flash, but everything you want to shoot simply looks good.

I, however, like to take shots at night, with my flash.  There’s something that ‘pops out’ when you watch mas at night… more so when you take a picture of it.  All the glitter mas makers use in their creations come into full effect when the sun goes down.  It kicks up the portrayals a notch… or a few.

I like the energy of night mas, too.  You’d think that the masqueraders would be dog tired after jumping up and down in the hot sun for two whole days… but they’re still so full of life and energy… its infectious!  They do their collective best to just wring the best out of the last few hours of Carnival, willing it to stay, offering their jumping and wining and wailing as offerings to the Bacchanalia.

Carnival 2009?  You were one of the best.  I hope you took good notes to pass on to Carnival 2010!

Peace and Rice,

jw

10
Mar
09

Trinidad Carnival 2009 Part Deux

Hey, folks… here’s the second part of my 2009 Carnival picture collection.  Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I wasn’t out for very long on Carnival Tuesday, and for a short time I had the bad luck of being caught in a bad position when a great band was making its way across the stage… I was facing the sun.

Anyway, I didn’t let that deter me from the mission at hand… which was to capture a little piece of the bacchanal that is Carnival to share with you.

The bulk of the pix are from the band Legends, led by Big Mike and his partner Juliette.  The rest are from Trevor Wallace.

Most of these were taken on Ariapita Avenue in Port of Spain, close to the NCC Judging point at Adam Smith Square.

Peace and Rice,

jw

01
Nov
08

Obama, Powell and the Caribbean Connection

As most of you know, I was “out of it” for a while due to some real world work and other committments.  While I was mainly off the Internet for those few weeks, I got so busy that I even fell behind on reading my local newspapers and watching local news stories on TV.

I wasn’t completely out of it, however, as I did my best to check my news reader to skim the headlines, but not much else.    Today, I picked up last Sunday’s Trinidad Express (Oct 26th 2008) newspaper, and randomly flipped it open to page 4 where I saw this:

[Also posted here]

Now I’d heard and read snippets of Powell’s endorsement, but I had *no idea* that the soldier in question was a Trinidadian.  Like Powell, I was taken aback by the hateful language emanating from the McSame-Failin campaign.  All those shouts of “terrorist” and “kill him” sent chills up my spine.

The thing that gets me is that, with few exceptions, the people who are calling for Obama’s head and calling his policies “socialist”, “communist” and “marxist” are overwhelmingly CHRISTIAN.

If Jesus were on Earth today, I’m sure he’d beat them like they were snakes disguised as moneychangers in a temple.

My condolences to the Khan family.  We just celebrated Eid earlier this month in TnT.  I’m sure Kareem was missed.  He is the 2nd (dead) Trinidadian soldier who’s made an impact on the American political scene.  I’d mentioned the first, Kendall Frederick, in my post “Who Are These Jokers, Anyway?”

Kendall got killed by an IED, too.  He was on his way to getting his citizenship papers regularised when the bomb exploded as his convoy passed.

The general was quite right in my view to call out the Republican party for not doing enough to stop the name calling, the race baiting and the fear mongering.  They’re encouraging it deliberately, and that’s wrong.

Trinbagonians are a blessed people.  We’re tolerant of almost everyone and anyone I can think of, with very few exceptions.  Muslims have played very important roles in our twin-island state.  They’re politicians, policemen, doctors, lawyers. They play a part in every facet of our lives.  Even our last head of state (the President) was Muslim.  When he died, a lot of people mourned. He was regarded as a good man by all.  This is not to say that we don’t have problems with each other as a nation — of course we do.

Ashley Todd

Ashley Todd

The thing that gets me about the American religious far right is that they seem just as extremist and fanatical as any of the Muslim terrorists that they love to attack (if not more so, given the lengths they’ll go to smear, right Ashley?)… and they do everything in the name of Jesus!

Jesus was (is) the ultimate man of peace, love and respect for one’s fellow man. Jesus was (is) all for “sharing the wealth”.

Faced with such bigotry and hate from his supposed followers, if Jesus were to come back now,  what would He *really* do?

Dvorak Uncensored

I never imagined that Trinidadians had such a major role to play in the US elections.  I’m sure quite a few people would’ve changed their minds following Powell’s endorsement of Obama and strident criticism of the G.O.P.  For all we know, that swing could make the ultimate difference when the votes are tallied on November 4th.  Powell wouldn’t have made the stirring endorsement without the contribution of that fallen Trinidadian soldier.  It carried more poignancy, more weight, more consideration than it would had he made the endorsement earlier in the primary season, when it was clear that Obama had enough votes to be declared the Democratic nominee.

Its even more apt when you consider that Powell himself is a Caribbean son, having Jamaica-born parents.

As I’d mentioned in tail end of my post “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, Powell had only to let out that he was *just considering* running for President when he was besieged by enough death threats to make his wife change his mind.  Obama has had to endure all manner of threats against his life since he started getting closer to the prize.  Let’s not trivialise it… Powell is just as much of a “war hero” as McCain, if not more so.  He was injured in wars, and saw the effects of war first hand.  He’s directed troops to fight against enemy troops in dangerous encounters.  He helped shape Bush’s foreign and national security policies, until he resigned in 2004.

Powell’s opinion is not to be scoffed, or taken lightly.

As a Caribbean man, while I’m truly sorry for the lives that were lost, I’m proud to say that I’m glad we made a considerable difference in shaping the future direction of the American political landscape.

We helped change the world.

Boblee Pix: VOTE !!!

The future of many lies in the hands of the American voter…

American Buddhist Perspective

American Buddhist Perspective

Vote!

Please Make The Right Choice!

Peace and Rice,

jw

20
Aug
08

Lightning Struck Twice!

Congrats to Usain Bolt for taking the 200m Men’s Olympic medal, and for smashing the record!

Mike, man… what can I say?

Someday was today!

😆

[Daily Telegraph]

This was another Caribbean one-two punch, with Churandy MARTINA of the Netherlands Antilles getting the silver medal!!!

18
Aug
08

Caribbean Cruise

What a weekend.  What an historic weekend!  The Green, Gold and Black is flying high in the hearts, minds and souls of all Jamaicans, and will be for quite some time!

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, one country has SWEPT all others to capture ALL the medals in the Women’s 100m sprint: Jamaica.  And it was the first time Jamaica won the Women’s gold too!

What makes it even more amazing is the fact that the winner, Shelly-Ann Fraser, was trained in Jamaica by Jamaican coach.  Her victory is a testimony to her natural talent (her mother was a sprinter), her coach’s ability, and her dedication, despite her many obstacles.

Point to note: 50% of the finalists in the Women’s 100m finals came from the Caribbean!

  • Jamaica:3
  • Bahamas:1
  • USA:3
  • UK:1

In the 1976 Olympics, history was created when Hasely Crawford became the first Trinidadian to win a gold Olympic medal in the 100m sprint, with a time of 10.06s.  Don Quarrie of Jamaica came 2nd, with 10.08s. It was the first time the Caribbean dominated an Olympic event in such fashion, winning gold and silver.

Hasely Crawford (T&T) and Don Quarrie (Jam)

Hasely Crawford (T&T) and Don Quarrie (Jam)

On August 16th, 2008, 32 years after the Montreal Games, the results were reversed!  Yet, the Caribbean dominated!

Jamaican Usain “Lightning” Bolt ran at lightspeed to take the gold with a time of 9.69s, smashing his own World record in the process!  Trinidadian Richard “Torpedo” Thompson led the rest of the pack (literally) with a time of 9.89s to take the silver!

Richard Thompson (T&T) and Usain Bolt (Jam)

Richard Thompson (T&T) and Usain Bolt (Jam)

For the first time in Olympic history, six of the eight finalists were from the Caribbean!

  • Jamaica:3
  • Trinidad and Tobago:2
  • Netherlands Antilles:1
  • USA:2

In 1976, 0.02s separated gold and silver.  In 2008, that difference widened to 0.2s!

As a Trinidadian, I’m happy, and as a Caribbean man, I’m damn proud!  We don’t have anything near to the US, UK and the rest of the developed world when it comes to modern athletic facilities and programs.  The fact Caribbean athletes have been present and consistently improving in all Olympic showings since 1976 is testament to not only the natural blessings of athletic talent on our shores, but the hardwork, dedication and skill of the coaches and their homespun training programs.

Interestingly enough, August 16th was also Hasely Crawford’s birthday.  Also interesting to note is that the winners of both men’s and women’s 100m beat the silver medallist by 0.2s!

What makes Usain’s win all the more remarkable is that:

  • He won running with one shoelace untied,
  • This is his first Olympic showing,
  • He actually prefers to run the 200m sprint,
  • He actually slowed down (to celebrate winning) when others were running at full pelt, and still won!
  • When he set the record at 9.72s, he’d only run five (5) 100m races at an International level!

I’m looking forward to both the Men’s and Women’s 200m, 400m and their respective relays.  I’m thinking that both men’s & women’s 200m races will be tense, as the American team will be looking to better their single bronze medal showing in these games.

Richard Thompson?  The man was a veritable unknown to me, to be honest.  I was more focussed on the efforts of Trinidadians Marc Burns and Darrel Brown!  He’s come a long way, and to be able to actually lead the 100m for the first 5 or 6 seconds before he was overtaken by Bolt says a lot about his talent and skill.  He kept his form and composure, knowing fully well that the race was not to beat Bolt, but to beat the rest of the pack… which he did.

What’s also a bit upsetting to me is all this talk of the use of steriods and performance enhancing drugs by the Jamaican athletes.  Asafa complained that they were being tested excessively.

Has anyone said the same about Michael Phelps?

I’m not putting my head on a block for anyone; after all, the sprints have always been tarnished with doping allegations (Ben Johnson and Marion Jones, anyone?), but I guess the bitter must always accompany the sweet.

I hope Team USA walked with their sugar pills.

From the looks of things, Jamaica has a few more bitter pills for them to swallow!  🙂

Peace and Much Love,

jw




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